ST. ANTHONY (KIVI) — The former Idaho State Industrial School in St. Anthony is home to “Idaho’s Haunted Hospital” and the location has quite a bit of notoriety, even being featured in an episode of the popular paranormal activity TV show ‘Ghost Adventures.’
Built in the 1920s, the site was home to the Girl’s Reform School, Gym, and Hospital. The facility is where wayward youth were sentenced to serve time while learning such things as home economics, milking cows, and growing crops.
The school and surrounding grounds are also said to be host to some of its prior residents, who are no longer alive, yet not quite interested in leaving.
Now made available as a seasonal Halloween attraction, the facility and land is owned and operated by the Olsen Family, and themed after the experiences of the girls who once stayed there.
One apparition seen there is a girl, possibly Hope Chacon, who died on March 17, 1941. The state issued certificate of death lists her cause of death as ‘Suicide by Hanging’. However, relatives of the girl have always believed there were more mysterious circumstances surrounding her demise, and most likely that it wasn’t a suicide at all.
The Olsen family says there are so many reported sightings of a mysterious “Ghost Girl” roaming inside the old hospital that they have actually put a disclaimer on their job application saying the hired performers for the Halloween attraction are not allowed to quit should they encounter the “Ghost Girl” while working.
However, that disclaimer hasn’t prevented some performers from walking away from the Haunted Hospital. In fact, Doug Olsen said many of the actors quit on the season’s opening night after experiencing paranormal encounters they simply cannot explain.
The attraction is split into two separate events: the Haunted Hospital and the Haunted Walking Tour.
The walking tour features the third floor of the Girls Dormitory. The Olsen family says the area was sealed off sometime in the 1950s after several Matrons who lived there reported, and strongly believed, the upper floor was haunted.
When asked why the family decided to open the attraction in these historic buildings, Olsen tells us he had so many people trespassing on his property that they decided they could make some money, as well as teach people the history of the location at the same time.
And when asked if the location is really haunted, Olsen says, “Of course it is! But your house is haunted too! It’s not like they are just hanging out at my house!”
During the October Spooky season, visitors can enter the facility for the nominal cost of $10 per person on weekends, $8 on weekdays, with house tours costing an additional $5. As for the rest of the year, house tours are by appointment only.
For more alleged haunted locations in Idaho, check out other KIVI Ida-Haunts stories.